Chapter

ECONOMIC RATIONALITY

Paul. Weirich

in The Oxford Handbook of Rationality

Published in print February 2004 | ISBN: 9780195145397
Published online January 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780199752393 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0195145399.003.0020
 ECONOMIC RATIONALITY

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Weirich examines three competing views entertained by economic theory about the instrumental rationality of decisions: the first says to maximize self-interest, the second to maximize utility, and the third to satisfice, that is, to adopt a satisfactory option. Critics argue that the first view is too narrow, that the second overlooks the benefits of teamwork and planning, and that the third, when carefully formulated, reduces to the second. Weirich defends a refined version of the principle to maximize utility. A broad conception of utility makes it responsive to the motives and benefits critics allege it overlooks. He discusses generalizations of utility theory to extend it to nonquantitative cases and other cases with nonstandard features.

Keywords: benefit; economics; instrumental rationality; maximization; nonquantitative; planning; satisficing; self-interest; teamwork; utility

Chapter.  7854 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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